U.K. Services Slowdown Takes Shine Off Recent Economic Optimism
Monday, 5 February 2018 16:48 WIB | ECONOMY |Ekonomi inggris

Britain services growth weakened more than expected at the start of the year, casting a cloud over the economy following some recent positive figures.

IHS Markit's Purchasing Managers Index fell to 53 in January from 54.2 in December. That's the lowest since September 2016 and well below the 54.1 economists had forecast.

Along with reports last week showing a slowdown in manufacturing and a near-stagnation in construction, Markit said the gauges suggest economic growth has slowed œsharply. They come just days before the Bank of England's latest policy decision, when it will also update forecasts that are key to the outlook for interest rates.

The disappointing PMI readings are in contrast to data showing the economy expanded 0.5 percent in the fourth quarter and employment growth was far stronger than anticipated. 

That had sparked a shift in expectations about U.K. interest rates, with investors raising bets on a hike as early as May. But the PMI survey -- which also showed softer price gains -- may somewhat temper that. 

Last month's readings suggest the economy is running at a quarterly growth rate of just under 0.3 percent.

Source : Bloomberg

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